Experts offer heart health tips for American Heart Month

Experts offer heart health tips for American Heart Month (FILE)

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - February is American Heart Month--a time to raise awareness for heart disease prevention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Medical experts report 1 in 3 deaths are attributed to heart disease and stroke. But there are ways to keep your heart healthy.

Registered dietitian Jill Simmons, with Touchpoint Support Services and Borgess Medical Center, says it all starts with two servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

She says you should limit your salt intake to one teaspoon, because it raises your blood pressure.

"You can get most of the salt you need just from fruits and vegetables alone. Avoid processed foods. Anything that comes in a box, bag, a can, and the most helpful tool out there is the food label on the back," Simmons said.

Simmons suggests eating good fats like olive oil and avocadoes, and to avoid the fats found in meat and butter.

And of course, don't forget to get a workout in.

She suggest 2 1/2 hours of brisk walking a week--or an hour and 15 minutes of intense exercising, like running.

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